Dentalanxiety and pain in clinical practice: asurvey amongurbanadults
Objective: To investigate the relationship between dental anxiety and pain of dental treatment among urban adult patients attending a Nigerian tertiary hospital. In addition, to identify the influence of age and sex on dental anxiety and pain of dental tratment. Methods: Fifty-one patients, aged 18 to 70 yearswho were first time dental attendees were studied for anxiety and pain levels by completing questionnaires on dental anxtiey and visual Analogue Scales. Results: Fifty-one patients aged 18 years and above were surveyed.Majority of the patients (76.5%) were below40 years
of age. More patients 40 years and above (66.7%) hadmild pain while more patients less than 40 years of age (64.1%) had moderate or severe pain. Mild pain was found more in men (70.0%) than inwomen (25.8%), whilemoderate or severe pain was found more in women (84.2%) than in men (30.0%). Moderate or severe pain (62.1%) was more amongst patients with moderate or high dental anxiety, while mild pain (90.9%) wasmore amongst patientswithmild DentalAnxiety.Mostmen hadmild anxiety level (80.0%) thanwomen (48.4%),whilemore women (51.6%) had moderate or high Dental anxiety than men (20.0%).Conclusion: Pain of dental treatment was severer in younger patients and women.Also, dental anxiety was worse in women, while pain perception was higher in patients who were more dentally anxious. Niger Med J. Vol. 49, No. 2, April – June, 2008: 43 – 46.
Keywords: Dental anxiety, visual analogue scale, urban adult, pain level.